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I'm new to 3D printing and I recently got a LulzBot Taz 6 printer.

I'm interested in doing dual extrusion printing (especially with dissolvable supports), but I'm also interested in doing single extrusion prints. In particular, I would like to experiment with printing flexible filament.

The LulzBot TAZ Dual Extruder v3 Tool Head says that it can handle all the filament types that I am interested in.

Here is the question: can I use a dual extruder (in particular, the LulzBot TAZ Dual Extruder v3 Tool Head) for general purpose printing (read single extrusion) or do I need to use a single extrusion head for single extrusion print jobs.

If you can use a dual for single use, why buy single extruders (I've been looking at LulzBot TAZ Aerostruder Tool Head for flexy prints) if you can get the same performance out of a dual head?

If you should use a single extruder for non-dual prints, please explain the shortcomings of using a dual print head for general purpose use.

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  • $\begingroup$ Aerostruder: Weight: 495.75 g (1.09 lbs) • TAZ dual: Weight: 0.96 kg (2.11 lbs) As for "all purpose" if a purpose requires 3 or more filament types (or colors) for a job dual may not be enough extruders... $\endgroup$ – Ecnerwal Feb 4 '18 at 21:24
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Not an expert by any means but I can’t see any reason you couldn’t use one half of a dual extruder. The benefits of not using one though would be decreased extruder weight. Especially given that this is a direct drive so there will be two stepper motors I believe. Reduced weight means faster print times and a reduction in certain print artifacts such as ringing etc.

Short answer, if your only ever going to need one extruder probably avoid a dual but if you want the flexibility this should work when a single extruder is required.

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  • $\begingroup$ And of course you could reduce (but not eliminate) the penalty for extra extruders by changing to a remote drive/Bowden tube setup. $\endgroup$ – Ecnerwal Feb 4 '18 at 21:17
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This may be too late to help, but I wanted to describe my own experience with the Lulzbot Taz Dual Extruder v3. It was...not good.

In terms of your question, I spent a fair amount of time trying to do exactly this. It is possible, but there are some major caveats:

  • If you are not printing with both extruders, you need to leave the one not in use unloaded. The reason for this is that, at least with PLA, the extruder not in use will get hot enough to drip.

  • The Cura-Lulzbot software, at least when I used it last year, doesn't deal well with this. It tends to default to printing with both extruders, and it made slicing much more complicated than it was with a single extruder.

As such, I personally gave up and swapped my old single extruder back in.

This isn't meant to contradict the other answer. In theory it should be workable. But in practice, with the device you mention, it's not.

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  • $\begingroup$ This should be fully correctable with proper slicing settings. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Nov 2 '19 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps, I was using the slicer from the printer and started out with the settings LulzBot said to use, then fought with the damn thing for a month. (The drips from the second Extruder was a design flaw as far as I can tell.) $\endgroup$ – Gort the Robot Nov 3 '19 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ If you're not using the second extruder at all, the slicer should generate gcode that never heats it up to begin with. That's definitely possible with (stock) Cura or slic3r. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Nov 3 '19 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ I was primarily using "Cura-Lulzbot", which was supposedly designed for the printer itself. Part of the problem was I was having a lot of problems with filament breaking in the primary excluder, so I was trying to use only the second extruder and not the first. $\endgroup$ – Gort the Robot Nov 3 '19 at 4:32

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